7.1 Banking has to become more simple…even boring!


    Since the onset of the crisis, we kept saying to ourselves that our banks are “too big to fail.” Is this to make them appear important, or is it a subconscious cry for help that these institutions are holding us hostage? I believe the banking system should be made up of smaller, (semi) national, ancient, and risk-free operating banks.

    When I transfer funds, I expect speed and security. I prefer to keep my savings in an account with a modest interest rate that covers the rate of inflation; in particular, I want my money to be kept safe.

    Most of the time, the bank does not even understand you. In my case, the combination of our hospitality, catering, Web, and IT activities unsettles my bank manager. And I can barely explain our innovative Internet and social network activities to bankers who do not even own a laptop.

    Banks must make a choice. Do they want high returns, bonuses, and risks? Doing business at their expense? Fine, but do it outside the scope of the existing order and remain self-sufficient. In order to guarantee consumer confidence, high-risk banks should make a financial contribution to a European Guarantee Fund. It’s called being responsible. Failing banks should no longer be able to transfer their losses onto the remaining banks or the government because the consumer will then pay for it again. Is it too much to ask for some more stability? “Steady as she goes?” Small reliable banks? Robust balance ratios? Should this not be a conditio sine qua non in the financial world? To compensate their transaction costs, they can charge a fixed, modest interest rate as a surcharge linked to the Euribor rate (the interest banks charge each other of which I assume will be done honestly in the near future, after the 2013 Libor scandal), but a bank should never be allowed to ask for more returns. Don’t you think that banks that make a profit are a paradox?